Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
I ran to the store, came home and made the kids dinner. For myself I made a huge plate of veggies and hummus to help counter-act the last several days of not really caring much about what I was eating. (Seriously, I ate a small cake*, all by myself, a bite at a time**, over the last four days... I wasn't going to admit that, but hey, it's a blog about accountability... I kinda have to!***)
Then, realizing I also hadn't been on the bike in a week, I took off after dinner for a quick ride.
Honestly, I don't know much about the technical aspects of a mountain bike. When I started riding again several weeks ago, I hadn't been on the bike in at least three years. I know nothing about the gears on my bike. My first time back out, I played with them a little and found a setting that works okay for uphill and a setting that works better for downhill. Since then I've pretty much stuck with them. Uphill, click click, downhill, click click.
Tonight I set out, praise and worship music in my earbuds and the GPS set to record my ride. Uphill first, click click, then a downhill, click click, followed by a lot of uphill click click. Around the one mile mark I started to think maybe I should not try to break the 5mile mark today. Maybe I should turn around and go home soon. Then, just to see what would happen I started clicking through my gears.
Click click, pedal pedal pedal, nope.
Click click, pedal pedal pedal, hmm.
Click click, pedal pedal pedal... hey now, this isn't so bad...
Lets try... click click, pedal pedal pedal... this might work...
Wait, what? I just hit two miles? I think I could really do this next half mile or so before I turn around. I kept pedaling and ended up going over the three mile mark before turning around to head home because it was getting late... not because I was tired or worn out.
As I headed back home, click click click click click (mostly downhill) I was pretty proud of the distance I'd covered thanks to figuring out those gears. Then a thought occurred to me, "Hmm, how long have I been laboring up these hills on this trail under my own power when I had help right there that I wasn't using?"
I had the power of the gears right there, at my disposal, but I was comfortable with the way I had been doing things before. It wasn't that I didn't have faith the gears would help, I just wasn't even trying to use them.
That's when I heard it. "You do that a lot, you know... try to conquer life's hills under your own power, when you have Someone else right there, waiting for you to ask for help."
Really? I mean, can't I just go for a bike ride without learning a lesson? Apparently not today.
(That's not really a complaint though.)
I often think God is getting me through things, up and down life's hills. I tell others that God is getting me through, when really, I've just become so comfortable where I am with Him that I say "Yep, I've got my gears set right" and then I pedal harder.
Today when that anxiety hit me, I asked for prayer and gave my own, "please make this go away" prayer for myself before I started focusing on those verses.
Still, I wasn't just letting Him handle it. I was trying to handle it myself. Find some comfort food, put on a warm sweater, crawl under the comforter in my bed, pray with my eyes closed and my head on the pillow... It wasn't until later, out for a ride, that I realized I had definitely been in the wrong gear.
Do I have an answer yet as to how to get myself in gear? Not really. Starting in the best place I can think to look... the instruction manual.
2 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.
3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.
4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
5 If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.
6 But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.
7 Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.
8 Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.
9 Believers who are poor have something to boast about, for God has honored them.
10 And those who are rich should boast that God has humbled them. They will fade away like a little flower in the field.
11 The hot sun rises and the grass withers; the little flower droops and falls, and its beauty fades away. In the same way, the rich will fade away with all of their achievements.
12 God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
Don't read these disclaimers:
*It was a quarter sheet, fluffy white cake with heaps of butter-cream frosting.
** Sometimes three or four bites at once.
***Totally worth it, just sayin'.